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Today's quote:

Monday, April 12, 2021

A Home in the Capital


I've written elsewhere about my time at Barton House in Canberra while working for the ANZ Bank. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered this rare publication, "A Home in the Capital", which recounts life in Canberra's hostels, including Barton House.


Click on each image to enlarge for ease of reading


Fast-forward to page 80 to meet Pam Dewhurst who lived in Barton House from April 1956 to December 1959. She also worked for the ANZ Bank in Civic, and she was still working there as head of ESANDA Debentures when I joined the bank in 1965. Her description of Barton House food is totally accurate, right down to the last cabbage roll!



An even more fitting description is by a Stella Reuter whose stay at Barton House in 1964 and 1965 coincided with mine; however, that's where all coincidences stop as I was not her "boyfriend, who was a German migrant" (see last paragraph on page 83). Even though I was the only German migrant at Barton House at the time, I don't think I ever laid eyes on Stella, let alone anything else! It must've been some other German migrant, most likely one with a car, because in those days, a car was 99% of a young man's personality, and I owned no more than the clothes I stood up in.

With just 1% personality and a thick German accent I would've never stood a chance ( .... and to think, fifty years later, that I would've willingly given up on the idea of seeing the world, would've willingly stuck with my dull 9-to-5 job in the bank for the next forty years, would've had kids and a big mortgage on a small house with a white picket fence around it, the full catastrophe ... IF ONLY ONE OF THEM HAD SO MUCH AS SMILED AT ME!!!)


Looks like I was not the only one who schlepped a Birko jug around with me!


Thank you, Canberra & District Historical Society, for making this book available to me! It brought back many happy memories of one of the many exit ramps from the road less travelled by!

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